NEA presents 2012 grants


RAPID CITY, S.D. — The National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) announced its 2012 grant awards recipients for Art Works on Nov. 17. According to the NEA, its grants are awarded to support the creation of art that “meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.”

In total, 863 groups will receive grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 for various fields, including arts education, museums, musical theater, design, dance, folk and traditional arts, literature and visual arts.

A total of $22.543 million will be awarded to groups in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, according to a statement released by the NEA. Of those selected, several Asian and Asian American and Asian Pacific Islander organizations will receive funding.

The Asian Art Museum Foundation of San Francisco will receive $34,000 to support an upcoming exhibition on contemporary Asian art. According to the NEA, the exhibit will examine the spiritual, religious and cultural environments of various religions that coexist with one another in Asia through magic, folklore rituals, oracles and religious services.

The Asia Society of New York will receive $52,000 for the “Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi, 1707-1857” exhibition, which will showcase portraits, panoramas and decorative arts from one of India’s “most significant and surprising periods of change.”

De Paul University in Chicago will receive $39,000 to support its exhibition of “War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art.” The work featured 20 contemporary artists and investigates the construction of mixed race and mixed heritage and Asian American identity in the United States.

The Chitresh Das Dance Company and Chhandam School of Kajthak in San Francisco will receive $10,000 for its production of “Darba,” a performance that uses traditional Indian dance and music alongside multimedia images to tell the story of the royal court of North India.

Gamelan Sekar Jaya of Oakland, Calif. will receive $20,000 to support master artists from Bali, who introduce and disseminate rare forms of Balinese music and dance in classes and educational activities.

Asian Americans United, Inc. from Philadelphia will receive $10,000 to support the 17th annual Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival, while the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center of Chicago will receive $15,000 to support their performance of Korean Poongmul (percussion) music.

The San Francisco-based Center for Asian American Media will receive $20,000 to support its Asian American Film Festival.

The Southern California Asian American Studies Central (aka Visual Communications) will receive $20,000 for its Asian Pacific Film and Video Festival, a 10-day event that showcases both international and Asian Pacific American work.

Also featured in the list were:

The New York-based Asian CineVision, Inc. of New York will receive $15,000 to support its Asian American International Film Festival and Silk Screen, in Pittsburgh, will receive $10,000 for its Asian American Film Festival.

The Kahilu Theatre Foundation of Kamuela, Hawai‘i will receive $30,000 to support the Ukulele and Slack Key Institute to provide performances, workshops, classes and outreach activities by Jake Shimabukuro, among other artists.

The Maui Arts and Cultural Center of Kahului, Hawai‘i will receive $40,000 to support a series of performances and community festivals involving workshops, storytelling events, film screenings and performances.

Taiko Arts Center of Honolulu will receive $25,000 to support a national tour featuring taiko drummer Kenny Endo, tablas player Abhijit Banerjee, and Latin percussionist John Santos in “Uncommon Time: Taiko, Tabla and Timba.”

The Ford Theatre Foundation of Hollywood, Calif., which will receive $40,000 to support its Community Bridges Program to reach out to local Latino and Asian American communities through performances, residencies, marketing and audience development strategies.

The NEA will award the East-West Players, Inc. of Los Angeles with $60,000 for their world premiere production of “Coach Soichi Sakamoto and the Three-Year Swim Club” by Lee A. Tonouchi, directed by Keo Woolford. The true story follows a swim coach who trained swimmers in irrigation ditches of 1930s Hawai‘i and led them to the Olympics.

The Fiji Theater Company, Inc. of New York received $40,000 for their production of “The Civil War Project” (working title). The multidisciplinary project uses historical text and imagery, personal biography, folklore and ghost stories as source material.

The Ma-Yi Filipino Theatre Ensemble, Inc. of New York will receive $25,000 to develop the world premiere of “You for Me for You,” a play about two sisters attempting to leave the closed society of North Korea through imagination and creativity.

The Theater Mu, Inc., of Saint Paul, Minn. will receive $18,000 to support the production of “Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them” by Asian American playwright A. Rey Pamatmat. The play follows the story of the coming-of-age story of two Filipino teenage siblings and a friend in remote Middle America without parental supervision, and the discovery of gay identity.

The Houston Grand Opera Association, Inc. will receive $20,000 for its second year of activities for East + West, a four-year program of chamber opera focused on Houston’s Asian populations.

For more information about the National Endowment for the Arts, call (202) 682-5400, e-mail or visit

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